Seasoning a Wok With Ease

Seasoning a wok is the best way to prepare for convenient and conventional cooking. It is more of an art and less of an earthly task.

Woks are prone to rust and buildups of sticky foods, especially if not seasoned properly before usage. Seasoning a wok permits the food to glide smoothly over its surface. Iron and steel woks should be seasoned properly before use.

Stainless steel types need to be treated because they are less porous than iron. Corn and peanut oil are also ideal cooking oils for seasoning because they possess a high heating point. Some even prefer to season woks with the use of an oven.

Here are the things needed to season a wok:
?Barbecue brush or a heat-proof cooking brush
?Paper Towels
?A bottle of peanut or corn oil.
?Stove top/gas stove
?Excellent ventilation

To start the process, two methods for seasoning are used. The first method is to season a new one or to re-season an old and rusty wok. Below are steps you can follow:

1.Scrub thoroughly the inside and outside surfaces using soap and a steel wool scouring pad. It will remove the new wok’s manufacturer’s protective coating or even rust on an old wok. The initial coating of a wok prevents rusting during retail display.

2.Rinse with water.

3.For some coatings that are hard to remove, place the wok on a stove with water. Boil until the protective coating dissolves. Pour the water out and scrub with soap and steel wool.

4.Next, heat the wok over high heat until the edges are nice and hot. It will change from a shiny steel gray to blue, then purple to red. Then it will turn into black.

5.Smoke will appear. Turn on the ventilation fan.

6.Using a brush or a sheet of wadded-up paper towel, dip it into corn oil and coat the inside surface with a thin layer of oil. You can tilt the oil in all directions. This can make the surface shine upon each application.

7.Reduce the heat to low volume and let it sit for about 15 minutes for it to absorb the oil. Color changes will continue in time, especially with frequent usage.

8.Turn off the heat and allow cooling down onto room temperature before you start the next round of seasoning. Wipe out excess oils with a paper towel when it cools. Do not use cold water when cooling the wok. It can damage and undo the process. Hence, cool the wok with boiling or very hot water. Wipe it with a sponge.

9.Dry the wok thoroughly and store.

10.Repeat the process for about 3 to 4 times more. A beautiful black sheen will happen with proper usage.

Another method is to brush the wok with polyunsaturated cooking oil on the surface and place it in an oven. This will take about four hours at 150 degrees Celsius. Every hour, brush the wok with oil around the sides and continue heating. Woks with plastic and wooden handles are not advisable to put inside an oven.

For continuous care
Do not scrub off the protective layer of carbon on the surface of the wok. Scouring pads and detergent soaps are the worst enemies of a seasoned wok. It is best to wash it with hot water and clean the surface with bamboo brush. Dry this with paper towels and lightly put vegetable oil coating before storing.

The bottom part of the wok can be scoured with steel wool so as to take away the burnt materials or residue. If there is an accidental burning of food inside the wok, scour it out and re-season the wok again.

Woks that are new may cause a slight metallic taste onto the first two or three dishes. The metallic taste disappears after several usages. A wok with proper seasoning can make perfect omelets without sticking. For better results, the process of seasoning a wok should be done with patience.

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About The Author, David H. Urmann
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